The Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) has faced criticism after publicly announcing their decision to remain silent on the recent terror attacks in Israel. In a letter to the Guild’s members, WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen and other leaders defended their stance, acknowledging that some may find it inadequate. However, they stated that it was a point of policy for the Guild not to make public statements on matters unrelated to their organization.
While the WGAE chose not to release an official statement, they did mention that individual members were free to express their personal sentiments on social media. The letter expressed sympathy for those affected by the ongoing crisis, acknowledging the difficult times everyone is facing. However, the leadership emphasized that their focus as a Guild should be on issues directly related to their industries and the labor movement.
The letter from the WGAE leadership referred to a previous referendum held by the Guild to determine the path forward as a Guild that now includes a significant number of journalists. As a result of this referendum, the Guild decided to move away from making public statements unrelated to their work. They argued that such statements divided rather than united their members. Since then, the WGAE has only issued two statements, both regarding the protection of reporters.
While the WGA on both coasts has chosen not to show support for Israel or those affected by the attacks, other industry organizations have taken a different stance. The Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the striking SAG-AFTRA have issued statements condemning the acts of aggression against Israel. Major talent agencies like WME, CAA, and UTA have also expressed similar sentiments. Even top executives, such as Disney’s Bob Iger and Dana Walden, have reached out to their employees regarding the attacks and the ongoing crisis.
In addition to individual expressions of solidarity, several major corporations have made significant donations to aid those affected by the attacks. Companies like Disney, Comcast, and Skydance have contributed millions of dollars to organizations like Magen David Adom, an affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. However, despite these efforts, protests have erupted worldwide over the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the attacks on Israel.
The Escalating Crisis
The situation in Gaza has worsened over the past weeks, with the number of casualties rising. Thousands of Palestinians have lost their lives due to Israeli airstrikes, and tensions continue to escalate. Israel has ordered the immediate evacuation of citizens and is preparing for a potential invasion of Gaza. The Israeli government and IDF have stated that their goal is to eliminate Hamas leaders and cripple the organization’s ability to carry out future terror attacks.
The Controversy Continues
The WGAE’s decision to remain silent on the terror attacks in Israel has sparked debate within the industry. While they argue that their focus should be on matters directly impacting their members, critics believe that this stance disregards the gravity of the situation and the importance of showing support for those affected. As the crisis in Israel and Gaza unfolds, the controversy surrounding the WGAE’s decision is likely to persist.